Treasure and Dirt Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
In the desolate outback town of Finnigans Gap, police struggle to maintain law and order. Thieves pillage opal mines, religious fanatics recruit vulnerable young people, and billionaires do as they please.
Then an opal miner is found crucified and left to rot down his mine. Nothing about the miner's death is straightforward, not even who found the body. Sydney homicide detective Ivan Lucic is sent to investigate, assisted by inexperienced young investigator Nell Buchanan.
But Finnigans Gap has already ended one police career and damaged others, and soon both officers face damning allegations and internal investigations. Have Ivan and Nell been set up, and, if so, by whom?
As time runs out, their only chance at redemption is to find the killer. But the more secrets they uncover, the more harrowing the mystery becomes, as events from years ago take on a startling new significance.
For in Finnigans Gap, opals, bodies and secrets don't stay buried for ever.
A superb stand-alone thriller from the acclaimed and award-winning author of the international best sellers Scrublands, Silver and Trust.
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|Listening Length||13 hours and 19 minutes|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||28 September 2021|
|Publisher||Wavesound from W. F. Howes Ltd|
|Best Sellers Rank||
49 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
1 in Police Procedural Mysteries
4 in Suspense
9 in Police Procedurals (Books)
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Somebody was always going to make that pun, so better me than you!
I am a long-term fan of Chris Hammer’s work, and I think that this one tops the lot.
‘Treasure and Dirt’ has everything. In no particular order: hard-bitten characters, a cult, grooming, possible incest, drunkenness, drugs, sex, violence, mining magnates, Chinese (?) investors, grey nomads, flies, heat, bad food, goodies and baddies, a ‘villain’ who knows that the world doesn’t like him but believes that he is doing a good and necessary job.
There is an exposition of the workings of the stock market and a paean to the virtuous place of the big burger in the Australian diet.
There are gentle references, hardly concealed, in the naming of minor characters and places.
Stereotypes are broken: there is a clean outback motel, a courteous manager of a hire care firm who runs his family business in a regional city with the efficiency and élan of a capital city Head Office.
The characters, both main and minor, are drawn deftly. There is a group of helpful clowns who would not be out of place in a Shakespearean comedy.
As well as a macabre killing in the present, there is an unsolved crime in the past – ‘nothing can stay buried forever’ – which is also solved.
So, I recommend ‘Treasure and Dirt’ as a well-written Australian police procedural novel, but I also commend it for the way Chris Hammer establishes the atmosphere of ‘place’, skill of the plotting, the deftness of its character definition and the clarity of its prose.
It is a book that ought to be on some Reading List for some course in Aust Lit at some tertiary institution. (Or the HSC?)